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bighead384
11-03-2009, 07:14 PM
I almost never have a conversation with a conservative in which they don’t preach about work ethic at least once. Although work ethic is definitely part of success, it is too often that this type of rhetoric is used as an excuse to be ignorant of the lives that some folks live.

For example, if you were to compare the average income of 100 black “C” students who grew up poor and 100 white “C” students who grew up wealthy, there would be a vast difference. But if work ethic is a constant variable there (“C” students) then how can you talk about work ethic as the cure for that problem?

Also, I reject the idea that capitalism is just simply because it rewards hard workers. America was a system that rewarded hard workers before the labor rights movement. Does that mean it was anywhere close to fair or couldn’t be improved during that time? Of course not. But I’m sure you still had people then who were saying the same things they’re saying today: “Don’t blame the system, you need to work harder”. I defiantly consider that when people say things like that today, they’re ignorant of the way things really are.

I guess you could say that one benefit of capitalism is that it gives people incentive to work hard. But I’m not sure that that is the most important thing in the world. I’m not sure that capitalism’s rewards and punishments for people are fair either, and can’t be improved somehow. Although at the same time, maybe it is fair to consider that some people do work harder than others when policy is made to at least some extent.

What do y'all think?

T-6005
11-04-2009, 12:32 AM
It's nice that you've found the time to fall in line with the last hundred and fifty years of thought on the idea of privileged classes, or - more recently - of privileged identity.

Apathy
11-04-2009, 08:18 AM
While he is arguing against a straw man, I do still at least agree. Those people piss me off righteously.

Vera
11-04-2009, 10:49 AM
It's nice that you've found the time to fall in line with the last hundred and fifty years of thought on the idea of privileged classes, or - more recently - of privileged identity.

I second this.

bighead384
11-04-2009, 01:16 PM
I was asking what this should mean for policy. I wasn't just saying this for the hell of it. How much should we take work ethic into account when policy is made?


While he is arguing against a straw man

What do you mean by this?

Vera
11-04-2009, 02:02 PM
What kind of policy do you mean? Policy within the work place? On a governmental level?

Apathy
11-04-2009, 10:56 PM
What do you mean by this?

I thought it was a common expression. Arguing against a strawman, or strawperson if you're feeling overtly gender neutral, basically means that you're attacking someone that is entirely too easy attack because anyone reading already knows everything that you're saying and could say it themselves.

An example would be walking into your local Democratic party office and start rationalizing why you think Rush Limbaugh is an imbecile. They know he's an imbecile. They feel the same way, and they don't need your help.

This is the same thing, as others are saying.

brothadave79
11-04-2009, 11:16 PM
And in this case it's a straw man argument because you're giving a very, very watered-down representation of those who argue for a strong work ethic (and assume that such a simplistic view encompasses them all). When you put it that way it's very easy to say these Capitalist Conservatives are imbeciles with no comprehension of socio-economic realities. But that's not necessarily the case.

Anyway, it's not very interesting, because I feel that any reasonable person would agree with you. It's very much common sense. That's why the vast majority of conservatives would be strongly against removing federal regulatory powers and various types of assistance to the private sector.

bighead384
11-04-2009, 11:52 PM
See, I'm personally exposed to a great deal of people who would disagree with my sentiment, perhaps more so then some of you. But I guess it's true that any reasonable person would agree with this. So since everyone here agrees with it, it's kind of pointless.

bighead384
11-05-2009, 12:30 PM
I guess an example of the conflicting views I'm having is this: America highly taxes the rich because capitalism isn't really fair and allows them to gain an amount of wealth that they don't even need or deserve. America has government programs to help the underprivileged because it isn't fair how capitalism divides people and some people grow up with less opportunity. So if we acknowledge all these problems with capitalism where people work hard but don't get their fair share, why stick with it? If we supposedly accept capitalist philosophies, how can these things be justified on a philosophical level?

brothadave79
11-05-2009, 01:18 PM
I guess an example of the conflicting views I'm having is this: America highly taxes the rich because capitalism isn't really fair and allows them to gain an amount of wealth that they don't even need or deserve. America has government programs to help the underprivileged because it isn't fair how capitalism divides people and some people grow up with less opportunity. So if we acknowledge all these problems with capitalism where people work hard but don't get their fair share, why stick with it? If we supposedly accept capitalist philosophies, how can these things be justified on a philosophical level?

Have you suggested a viable alternative here?